Not everyone needs a CPA and you don’t want to convince people with simple tax situations why they should be paying more. However, you do want to be working with people with complex situations who need you and know it.
Your best opportunities for future business may be among your current clients. But which clients do you help the most and who has the best potential? After examining your clientele you will likely identify commonalities, whether they are retail business owners, real estate developers, manufacturers or self-employed.
The next step is to recall how you originally acquired those clients. If you bought or inherited the practice, that might be a dead end, but if you got them through referrals or advertising that’s another story. Consider going back to that strategy.
Another approach is to look at professional associations in your area. You may already belong to the local chapter of one of the many groups for CPAs. But while the benefits are obvious (i.e. CPE, networking, advocacy, the sense of community etc.) you won’t necessarily find business there.
Your ideal clients likely have a professional association aligned to their business. Do some research to identify the local groups associated with their professions. Visit those websites and if the membership directory is available to the public, scan to determine if your client is a member. If so, they may be able to provide practical advice on how the organization works.
Regardless of the answer, determine if the organization has an Associate Membership category. These groups often (but not always) have a class of membership for people not directly employed in the profession, yet providing a product or service used by members of the profession.
Take for example the San Antonio Manufacturers Association. They have 500+ members. In addition to standard memberships, they have associate membership and sponsor classes of membership. The associate members are often banks, law firms, staffing services and the occasional accounting firm.
The next step is to dig into their website. Does the professional association you discovered have regular meetings, offer seminars, hold trade shows or an annual conference? Do they have a publication, either in print or online?
Where Does the Business Come From?